Kuala Lumpur: Emily Lau, from the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA), shares her inspiring story of being selected as the match commissioner of the Asian Qualifiers Round 2 match between Australia versus Nepal in the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) ‘It’s My Game’ campaign.
Lau was filled with pride when she received news on her appointment as one of four female match commissioners for the Asian Qualifiers – the first-time females were appointed to take charge of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Joint Qualifiers.
“I’ve been in charge of other men’s competitions like the AFC Champions League and I was also involved in the FIFA World Cup in Russia as a security officer, so the experience has equipped me to take up this challenge,” she said.
“Expectations are higher when you are the match commissioner for the Asian Qualifiers, but the teams are very co-operative and supportive. But everything went smoothly, and I really cherish the experience.”
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Lau began her football journey when her father would take her to watch football matches in Hong Kong. Growing up, she continued to watch matches with her friends until deciding to make a career in the sport.
“My father is a football fan and he loved playing football as well. He brought me to the stadium when I was very young. When I grew up, I watched the league matches with my friends, so I thought why I don’t work for the Hong Kong Football Association and that’s how my career in football began.
“It is a blessing for me that I can work in something which I really love. Football gives me a lot of experience and it is amazing to be involved in this beautiful sport,” said Lau.
Now as the Head of Competitions for the HKFA, Lau continues to grow and promote the sport, but her role expands beyond Hong Kong through the support of the AFC and FIFA.
“I feel very proud (when appointed as match commissioner). It’s a very good trend that AFC and FIFA consider developing women playing and working in football. It sends a very positive and encouraging message to the football industry.
“The opportunities are equal for men and women. We are selected on our abilities which is a good thing so I would encourage more girls to fight for your dream and work hard for what you want.”
The AFC’s It’s My Game campaign, which was launched to recognise and encourage more women to join the workforce in football, has been viewed over 400,000 times and reached over 1.3 million people across the AFC’s digital channels.
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